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  • MSE Share Index back into negative territory with a 1% drop to 3,056.946 points as HSBC and GO trade lower. Meanwhile, the two other active equities, namely BOV and Plaza, ended this morning’s session unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index eased marginally lower as the reduction in the bid prices of the longer-term bonds by the Central Bank of Malta outweighed the marginal increase in the bid prices of the short to medium term stocks. The downward revision of the longer-term prices reflects last Friday afternoon’s rally which pushed benchmark Eurozone yields to around 1.40%, a level which was also maintained today, following positive economic data in the U.S. as well as the European Central Bank’s (ECB) plan to support sovereign debt markets in cooperation the region’s bailout funds. The ECB explained that it will buy bonds of troubled states which request a bailout and accept strict supervision over their finances.
  • Last week, Malita Investments plc published its allocation policy with respect to the recent share issue. The Company revealed that it received 1,239 applications for a total of 30.97 million shares compared to the maximum 30 million shares in issue. Malita explained that all applications up to 1 million shares will be satisfied in full. Listing of the shares on the Official List of the Malta Stock Exchange will take place tomorrow with trading expected to commence on Monday 13 August.
  • HSBC’s share price slid 2.8% lower to the €2.80 level as the equity turned ex-dividend. A total of 18,700 shares changed hands today with few other offers remaining unsatisfied at the last closing price. The net interim dividend of €0.065 per share will now be paid on 22 August.
  • A single deal of 4,000 GO shares was executed at the €1.02 level representing a 2% drop from the previous close. The quad-play telecom operator announced last Saturday that during the Forthnet S.A. Extraordinary General Meeting held the day before, shareholders requested to postpone the discussion on the agenda items to Thursday 23 August. Forthnet is seeking shareholders’ approval for a number of changes in its capital structure as well as a minimum €30 million capital increase.
  • Meanwhile, BOV’s equity closed unchanged at the €2.11 level after failing to hold on to an intra-day high of €2.13 across four trades totalling 4,885 shares.
  • Plaza also closed unchanged today at the €0.55 level on volumes of 1,500 shares. The Company recently published its half-year financials showing a 4.9% increase in revenue to a record €1.12 million. Costs declined leading to a record pre-tax profit of €685,013, representing a 9.6% increase from last year’s figure. Occupancy remained high at 91% in spite of an increase of 1,700 sqm in rentable area following the completion of the third extension in March 2011. The Directors noted that occupancy is expected to edge lower in the coming weeks following the termination of a lease of an office tenant occupying a large area. However, negotiations with new tenants for this area are already underway. Looking ahead, the Directors expect the Company to maintain the trend reported in the first half of 2012 during the remained of the year. Further details available here.
  • This afternoon, 6pm Holdings published its half-year results covering the six months ended 30 June. The 6pm Group reported a turnaround in performance with net profit of GBP184,883 (June 2011: loss of GBP343,314) mainly reflecting the 82.4% increase in revenue to GBP3.89 million on the back of increased sales of the Group’s health-related products across the UK National Health Service. Moreover, the Group is benefitting from cost savings following the opening of a Macedonian subsidiary as from September 2011. The Directors did not declare an interim dividend but stated that if the positive trend reported in the first half of the year will continue during the remainder of 2012, the Directors will consider re-instating a final dividend after a four year absence.


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